Cooking Channel's Kelsey Nixon On New Season Of 'Essentials' Show

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Cooking Channel's Kelsey Nixon stopped by to talk about her show, Kelsey's Essentials, which will be launching its second season this fall here in New York City. She was fan favorite of The Next Food Network Star's Season 4 and protégé of renowned Chef Bobby Flay. She's shared some quick and easy recipes for the entire family, including:

Sausage Corn Dogs (breakfast) - a unique twist on pancakes and sausage the kids will love

BBQ Meatballs (lunch / dinner) - flavorful bite size appetizer or dinner option that can be served individually with toothpicks, over mashed potatoes, on a roll, etc.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Bites - the perfect after school or celebration sweet treat. Great for moms to make with the kids!

Kelsey Nixon started in the food media industry when she created Kelsey's Kitchen, a college cooking show at her University. After graduating with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, she attended Le Cordon Bleu – Hollywood, earning her professional culinary arts degree. Kelsey's passion for the essentials in the kitchen has taken her one step further and she now hosts her own show on Cooking Channel, Kelsey's Essentials, where she inspires a new generation of food lovers with her own fresh take on essential cooking basics.

SAUSAGE CORN DOGSIngredients

1 (12 oz.) pkg. maple pork sausage links (14 links)

14 5-inch wooden skewers*

1 (32 fl.oz.) bottle Crisco Pure Canola Oil

1 1/4 cups Hungry Jack Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix (Just Add Water)

or 1 1/4 cups Hungry Jack Complete Extra Light & Fluffy Pancake & Waffle Mix (Just Add Water)

1/3 cup Martha White Self-Rising Enriched Yellow Corn Meal Mix

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg, beaten

3/4 cup milk

or 3/4 cup buttermilk

Hungry Jack Original Syrup

Directions

COOK sausages in large skillet as directed on package. Drain on paper towels. Cool. Insert skewer into each sausage from one end. Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to 350°F.

WHISK pancake mix, corn meal mix and salt in large bowl. Add egg and milk. Whisk until smooth.

DIP each sausage in batter until fully coated. Cook 3 at a time in hot oil, 50 to 60 seconds or until golden brown, turning constantly. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining sausages. Serve immediately with syrup as a dipping sauce.

TIP: * To make 5-inch skewers, cut 10-inch skewers in half.

Makes : 14 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

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Barbecued Meatballs

IngredientsMEATBALLS

Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 cup Hungry Jack Instant Mashed Potato Flakes

2 large eggs, beaten

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. chili powder

2 tsps. salt

2 tsps. ground pepper

BBQ GLAZE

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 tbsps. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Shredded lettuce (optional)

Prepared mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles (optional)

Directions

HEAT oven to 400°F. Line large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Coat with no-stick cooking spray.

COMBINE ground beef, potato flakes, eggs, milk, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper in large bowl. Form meatballs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, using small cookie scoop or 2 tablespoons meat mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet.

BAKE 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel lined plate, if necessary.

For BBQ Glaze: COMBINE ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, onion, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until comes to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss cooked meatballs in glaze.

Serving Suggestions

PLACE 3 to 4 meatballs over shredded lettuce if desired, in hoagie roll to make meatball subs. Sandwich individual meatballs between two halves of small potato rolls to make sliders.

PLACE meatballs in slow cooker to keep warm. Serve with toothpicks as appetizers.

SERVE over prepared Hungry Jack® Mashed Potatoes, rice or egg noodles.

Makes : 40 meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Bites

Ingredients

Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

1 cup Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter, divided

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups Hungry Jack Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix (Just Add Water)

1 cup Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Vanilla Flavor Frosting

2 (12 oz.) bags semisweet chocolate chips

2 tbsps. Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening

1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Directions

HEAT oven to 350°F. Coat 8-inch square baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

BEAT 1/2 cup peanut butter, butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until blended. Add milk and pancake mix alternately, beating after each addition until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then turn cake into a large bowl and set aside.

Beat 1/2 cup peanut butter and frosting until smooth. Line two large baking sheets with wax paper.

CRUMBLE cake into fine crumbs with fork in bowl. Add frosting mixture. Mix thoroughly with spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 30 minutes. Roll mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls using small cookie scoop (one tablespoon cake mixture). Place balls on one prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour.

PLACE chocolate chips and shortening in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave in additional 10 second intervals until completely melted and smooth when stirred.

REMOVE ten cake bites from freezer at a time, keeping the remaining ones frozen. Drop one cake bite at a time into melted chocolate. Spoon chocolate over each bite until coated. Lift cake bite out of chocolate with a fork, allowing the excess chocolate to drip into bowl. Using toothpick, gently push bite off fork onto other prepared baking sheet. Top each with chopped peanuts immediately. Repeat to coat remaining bites. Chill 5 minutes or until chocolate is set. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Makes : 50 cake bites

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

TIP: If chocolate becomes stiff while dipping bites, heat in microwave for 10 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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